Sunday, June 18, 2023

Father's Day Dirty Thirty

Ridley Crossbow Mullet at the Money Shot

I figured it was about time I take the Crossbow on a real gravel ride, the kind of ride with a lot of climbing and see how it does. I checked with my friends to see if anyone wanted to do a gravel ride and Mike said he would join me.

We got off to a late start because I was taking my son out for breakfast, being Father's Day and all, he got up late, and we drove around looking for somewhere that didn't have a huge line but couldn't find one. We ended up going to Dunkin'.

Such a beautiful morning! We started out by heading south and hit the first climb of the ride, Crofut Road. First Dirt was on Old Roxbury Road and it's a fun climb as well.

A pretty formidable climb and the first test for climbing on the Ridley and it felt really good.

Rather than head straight to Moosehorn like I would normally do I added some variation and took us down Booth, only to climb back up again.

The initial wall is very disconcerting but Mike and I had no trouble riding up. There was some gripes and maybe few choice words exclaimed on the steepest part of the climb from the peanut gallery but then again there usually is when you ride Roxbury Dirt Roads.

Next came my favorite, white knuckled, dirt road descent on Moosehorn and my brakes were squealing like a stuck pig.  I think they could be tightened a bit, too.  We headed down Davenport and picked up Battle Swamp. Rode past Deborah Harry's house and then started climbing again. Another white knuckled descent with squealing brakes and then we were on Tunnel Road.  

Riding through the tunnel is always fun and I like to stay on the old Railroad bed until the end because there are less people. Case in point, about a 1/4 of a mile up the road we came across a group walking their goats.

At first I thought the goats were from that goat farm on Wheaton Road but I think they said they were from somewhere else.  First time I have seen people walking goats.

I had heard that the bridge over the Shepaug was going to be closed for the summer so I wanted to see it for myself and the route I planned had us taking the harder trail up to Ferry Bridge.

Won't be going that way for a while

Too bad they can't put a bridge where the train crossed over to the west side of the Shepaug so you could ride up the other side.

Mike and I were able to ride about a quarter of the way up till Napoleon showed up.

A little bit of road riding and then we were in Hidden Valley

and it wouldn't be a fun ride unless we encountered some horses.

They were easy to get by and not very skittish, at all.

On the School side of the trail there were quite a few blowdowns that ruined the flow.

Two of them required lifting our bikes over the trees.

I had gotten word that you could ride over the bridge on Whittlesey Road

Nice deck!

Next came the climb up to the Money Shot.

Unfortunately, the road is paved on the steepest part of the climb

but it's worth the effort.

After Whittlesey we were on Rt 202 for a bit and then Rt 47, which appears to have been repaved. Guess I haven't ridden it in a while. 

Turning onto Buffum you immediately start climbing and even after it turns to pavement you are still climbing. I am a creature of habit and mapped the route down to Scofield Road and then on to Wheaton Road for the climb up West Church Hill to Walker Brook. At the top of this climb I decided we would stay high and come at Walker Brook from the other direction.

The climb up Walker Brook is a cakewalk, I even did it in the big ring!

Then comes the 4 mile descent down Walker Brook Road. 
It's not steep but it's very pleasant, especially when you are nearing the end of your ride.

We stopped on Judd's Bridge for the obligatory bike shot

 Battle Swamp comes in just around the corner from the bridge but never intersects the route.
My overlapping/routing OCD was nowhere to be found.

Two more little climbs and then Mike and I were drinking Narragansett Del's Shandy.

Here is the original route if you want to see where all the dirt is:

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